1 death reported in 4,700-acre Saddleridge Fire; Nearly 13,000 under mandatory evacuation orders


LOS ANGELES (KTLA) — One death was reported Friday morning in the wind-driven Saddleridge Fire that has put more nearly 13,000 homes under mandatory evacuation orders.

The person, identified only as a civilian male, died from cardiac arrest, Los Angeles Fire Department Chief Ralph  Terrazas said during a 7:45 a.m. news conference. One firefighter also suffered a very minor eye injury, he said.

The fire had scorched roughly 4,700 acres and was 0 percent contained, Terrazas said. More than 1,000 firefighters were at the scene assisting with the blaze.

The brush fire was reported just after 9 p.m. Thursday near the Yarnell Road exit of the 210 Freeway in Sylmar, according to the Inciweb fire information website.

The fire was moving in a westerly direction Thursday night as it burned through medium to heavy brush near the Porter Ranch and Granada Hills areas.

It was moving in a northerly direction toward the city of Santa Clarita Friday morning, Los Angeles County Fire Department Chief Dave Richardson said.

“In addition to that, it continues to burn not only through the city but unincorporated Los Angeles County toward Browns Canyon, Twin Lakes community,” Richardson said.

Freeway Closures

Dangerous flames from the Saddleridge Fire have prompted several freeway closures. Earlier, stretches of the 118 Freeway were closed and reopened by 11:30 a.m.

  • Southbound 5 Freeway at Calgrove Boulevard
  • Northbound 5 Freeway at 11 Freeway
  • Southbound 14 Freeway at Newhall Avenue
  • Westbound 210 Freeway at 118 Freeway
  • Northbound 405 Freeway at the 118 Freeway
  • 118 Freeway connector to the westbound 210 Freeway
  • 118 Freeway connector to the northbound 405 Freeway

Mandatory Evacuations

Mandatory evacuations are in place for about 12,700 homes, the Los Angeles Fire Department stated Friday morning. Those evacuations include the following areas.

  • ALL of Porter Ranch (north of 118FY) from Reseda to De Soto
  • Oakridge Estates (north of 210FY)
  • West of Balboa, North of Sesnon to the Ventura County border with DeSoto as the western border

Evacuation centers for people and small pets were opened at the Sylmar Recreation Center (13109 Borden Avenue) and at Northridge Recreation Center (18300 Lemarsh Street).

Evacuation centers at Mason Park and Granada Hills Recreation Center were filled and no longer accepting residents as of Friday morning, the Fire Department stated.

Large animals are being accepted at Hansen Dam, according to the Fire Department.

School Closures

Dozens of schools in three counties have closed Friday as a result of the fire. The Los Angeles Times issued the following list of closures:

Santa Clarita:

  • William S. Hart Union High School District
  • Castaic Union School District
  • Sulphur Springs Union School District
  • Newhall School District

Los Angeles County:

  • Cal State Northridge
  • Pierce College
  • Los Angeles Mission College
  • Bert Corona High School and Bert Corona Charter School
  • Castlebay Lane Charter
  • Chaminade College Preparatory Middle School
  • Danube Avenue Elementary
  • Granada Hills Charter High School’s Devonshire and Zelzah campuses
  • El Oro Way Charter for Enriched Studies
  • Frost Middle School
  • Haskell Elementary STEAM Magnet
  • Jane Addams Continuation High School
  • John F. Kennedy High School
  • Knollwood Preparatory Academy
  • North Valley Military Institute
  • Porter Ranch Community School
  • Rinaldi Adult School
  • Valley International Preparatory High School
  • Van Gogh Charter

Ventura County:

  • Filmore Unified School District
  • Los Cerritos Middle School and Lang Ranch Elementary School in the Conejo Valley Unified School District
  • MATES charter school in Thousand Oaks
  • Mupu School near Santa Paula
  • All Simi Valley Unified Schools

Angeles National Forest officials are in a unified command with Los Angeles City and Los Angeles County fire departments.

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